Guest Article: The Grieving Consoler by Joshua Gulley

Here’s an excellent article written by a good brother in Christ about overcoming setbacks and grief through serving others:

The Grieving Consoler by Joshua Gulley

 I don’t know what kind of relationship Jesus shared with John the Baptizer. Did their separate callings take them in different paths in which they rarely got to see each other? Did they often visit one another while growing up? I do know that once they began their ministry, they each recognized the other’s role in the will of God, prophesied in the Scriptures. The Bible records compliments paid by each to the other when speaking to large crowds. When John sent messengers to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, Jesus replied in a beautifully poetic fashion: “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not made to stumble because of Me” (Matthew 11:5-6).

So they perhaps had some personal affection for one another. The Bible doesn’t say directly, but in Matthew 14 when Jesus heard that John had been beheaded, He “withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” We can surmise that Jesus must have been seeking solitude in order to grieve the loss of His friend. Nowadays when a man’s relative dies, we gather to him in crowds to comfort and console him. But in this instance, it was Jesus who we would suppose needed consolation, yet the Scripture says He was the one who felt compassion for the crowd. Perhaps His retreat on the sea, thinking about John’s untimely death, His own death coming a relatively short time in the future, and the temporary nature of man’s time on earth made Him more sensitive to the present needs of His fellow-man. Whatever the case, here we see the ultimate fulfillment of the command to “look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

And herein might we learn a lesson: perhaps there are some people who seem to retreat from society after loved ones die, becoming bitter and aloof, dwelling on their own sorrow and tribulation. The Master, however, did not do this. Rather, His grief seemed to create more room in His heart for the people who were still there. Lord, help us that grief in our own lives will cause us to count even more precious the ones remaining.

Josh teaches music at the High School level and he is a member of the Smithville Church of Christ

#consolation, #grief-recovery, #guest-article, #jesus, #mourning, #overcoming-setbacks, #serving-others, #sorrow

To those who persevere, well done!

Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant.” (2 Samuel 21:20)

I sure could use an extra finger this morning, an extra thumb really. I cut the thumb on my right hand yesterday pretty good. My thumb is still there, but it’s not doing much!

Have you ever tried to type without using your thumb? Or use a mouse? It doesn’t come very naturally when you’re already used to having it there. There are so many “little” blessings that we can and do take for granted.

I have often felt great admiration for those who persevere through struggles that people with two functioning hands, arms, legs and feet rarely think twice about. I see the great things that they have accomplished in spite of their set-backs and I think about how hard for them it must have been to kick the word “quit” out of their vocabulary. Yet they did. And they’re striving because of it!

In a similar vein, I think about those who are striving to live a Christian life in less than favorable circumstances yet there they are, still hanging in there by God’s grace and perseverance. Every day is a new day in their eyes because this is the day that the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24). And although they carry burdens that I do not, they still manage to allow the yoke of Jesus to carry their burdens to Calvary where they stay (Matthew 11:28-30).

So to those of you who persevere in ways that make “ordinary life” look elementary, well done!

God will repay everyone based on their works. On the one hand, he will give eternal life to those who look for glory, honor, and immortality based on their patient good work.” (Romans 2:6-7 – CEB)

#overcoming-setbacks, #perseverance, #taking-blessings-for-granted, #trials, #works